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COMMENTARY
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1528-1532

Need for a universal thalassemia screening programme in India? A public health perspective


1 Public Health Scientist, SRM University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, HIMS, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
3 Department of Physiology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sudip Bhattacharya
Department of Community Medicine, HIMS, Jolly Grant, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_90_19

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Thalassemia is one of the significant public health concerns as the carrier rate and disease numbers are increasing worldwide. The increase in number is because of consanguineous marriage which has a deep-rooted norm among many people globally. Besides various clinical and psychological problems associated with thalassemia, a lifelong treatment aspect makes it much more difficult for a person or family to sustain with thalassemia or thalassemia-affected children. Though the government has come up with a screening programme for thalassemia, given the fact that it is optional, people tend to ignore it. Examples from Pakistan and Iran remind us to have a mandatory prenatal screening programme which is very much cost-effective. With a highly recommended notion, we suggest that it should be universal to have an antenatal screening programme to avert thalassemia-related deaths.


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